Esports Entertainment secures entry into NJ with Twin River deal

Esports Entertainment has entered a multi-year partnership with Twin River, securing entry into New Jersey’s betting market.

The esports betting operator, Esports Entertainment Group, has entered a multi-year partnership with Twin River Worldwide Holdings that will allow the esports betting operator to enter New Jersey’s sports betting market.

This partnership comes after Esports Entertainment finalised its acquisition of the online betting and gaming operator Argyll Entertainment last month.

The market access deal

Under the deal, Esports Entertainment has managed to secure entry into New Jersey’s sports betting market. The esports betting operator plans to launch a proprietary mobile app which will allow customers in New Jersey to place real-money bets on a variety of esports events.

Grant Johnson, CEO of Esports Entertainment Group, said: “We are excited to partner with Twin River as we bring mobile sports betting to the New Jersey market. When we completed our IPO on Nasdaq earlier this year, it was with the intention of expanding our operations in the US. With this partnership, we’re delivering on that goal.”

George Papanier, President and CEO of Twin River Worldwide Holdings said: “Esports Entertainment will be a great addition to our growing partnerships with Sportsbook leaders around the world, as we currently operate sportsbooks in Rhode Island, Colorado, Delaware and Mississippi.

“Bringing this new, unique offering to the AC market with a prominent gaming partner is one of the many exciting changes we have in store for Atlantic City in the months to come.”

However, the partnership and subsequent launch of the operator’s app are contingent on Twin River securing the regulatory approvals to complete its acquisition of Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City.

In April, Twin River agreed to purchase the New Jersey casino from Caesars Entertainment and this deal was subject to Caesars being acquired by Eldorado Resorts. Last month, Eldorado completed its acquisition and subsequent merger with Caesars.

If Twin River’s acquisition of Bally’s goes to plan, the casino operator would secure the rights to offer three online sports betting skins in the Garden State. One of these skins would be taken by Esports Entertainment under the terms of the latest partnership.

Esports betting in New Jersey

Following the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018, New Jersey became one of the first states to legalise sports betting. Unlike other states, New Jersey’s regulatory body permits esports betting, however, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement looks at each operator on a case-by-case basis before granting esports betting approval.

However, the current regulatory model for esports betting in New Jersey could change after Assemblymember Ralph Caputo introduced a bill in January that would ease the restrictions and allow esports betting to be offered alongside traditional sporting events.

The bill, A637, passed the New Jersey Assembly in late July and has now progressed to the Senate and is currently with the State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee.

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